Monthly Archives: December 2017

KRANTI SALVI- SECOND INNINGS

Born in a Regular Middle class family in Dhule, Maharashtra, Kranti grew up in a safe, secure, protected environment. Along with being a bright Scholarship student, she was also good in Sports and participated in Athletics in school at Sanjivan Vidyalaya, Panchgani.

Invariably; Sports took a back seat, once she enrolled into her Engineering Degree Course. She completed B.E. in Electronics and Telecommunications followed by Masters in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and now is a Director at the Alfa Group of Companies.

Chirag, her 6-year-old boisterous son was advised to enroll in some Physical Activity by School in 2011. Kranti took him to Priyadarshini Park (PDP) for training in Athletics. Obviously, like most mothers, she would wait there itself till he was done. Approaching his Coach, she asked if she too could start track training under him instead of just killing time. He readily agreed and the inborn Athlete rose once more 🤗.

In 2011, Kranti ran her first 5-Kilometer Race at PDP and won the Silver medal completing in less than 25 minutes. Next, she participated for the 6K Valentine Run from Police Gymkhana to NCPA organized by Nike Run Club when she got a Nike T-shirt as a prize and set the ball well and truly rolling.

In 2012, Kranti participated in her first Half Marathon at SCMM. Unexpectedly, she stood 5th in her Age Category finishing in 2:01 despite running Easy and even taking a Loo break 😯. Till then her only real training had been running on the PDP Track as per Chirag’s practice sessions whilst juggling Household Chores, Office and diligently climbing 15 floors to her home daily.

In 2013, Kranti was to do her very first Full Marathon, again at SCMM. Chirag, her son, was selected to participate in the State Level Long Jump Event at Aurangabad on the very same day. Chirag left along with some other friends and their parents on Friday Evening. That Sunday turned out to be super eventful for Kranti as she stood Second in Women and 1st in Indian Women in her Age Category finishing in a brilliant 4:12 🤗. They ended up rushing straight to the Airport after the race to pick up Chirag.

Thereafter, Kranti has gone on to win podiums at practically every Race that she has participated in India. She manages to balance her family, work and training with Elan. The Athletic Salvi family enjoys participating in running events together. They even plan a yearly Runcation abroad every July and have run in Mauritius, Philippines and the Gold Coast Marathons. In fact, Kranti stood 4th in Mauritius. Besides Olympian Lalitha Babar, she is the only other Indian woman in top 10 overall rankers of an AIMS certified Marathon. She got her PB of 3:47 at Gold Coast and went on to complete the prestigious Boston Marathon in 3:51 in 2017 and plans to do it again in 2018 😎.

Kranti has a Holistic approach to Fitness thanks to learning Yoga. She tries to make sure her Core is engaged even whilst doing chores- be it making Chappatis, mopping the floor or scrubbing clothes 😎. Consuming self-cooked home food helps her ensure fixing the Menu as per the Workout plans. Fresh vegetables, fruits, poultry and sea food are all part of the regular diet. On Long Run Days; Carbohydrates are increased while on Strength Training Days; the Protein is boosted. She trains from Monday to Saturday in the evening at PDP along with her son, Chirag. Workouts consist of Strength, Core, Circuit, Plyometrics, Speed and Easy long runs so as to avoid Monotony.

Essentially training on the Synthetic tracks, Kranti looks forward to her Long runs on the Road. Though Interaction with MRR is mostly restricted to Facebook, she joins in the Monthly MRR runs enroute at Marine Drive every chance she gets. The whole atmosphere of high spirits, harmony and joy as well as post Run gathering and meeting Runner buddies whilst exchanging ideas and thoughts at NCPA is something that she enjoys thoroughly 😊.

Kranti advises Beginners to take it easy, gradually increase time and intensity of load while seeking Expert guidance for specific goals. She states that Patience is required for long term benefits of Running or any kind of sport. Rest and Recovery are equally important; Sleep especially cannot be ignored since that’s when our Body Recovers. Kranti says desired performance can be achieved only when the body, mind, soul and external forces all work harmoniously towards it. Furthermore, keeping log of Runs helps in monitoring progress and staying motivated. Last but not the least, never compare your performance with others as each one is different.

Kranti has been a Brand Ambassador for TomTom, Puma as well as the Face of several Running Events. Now, she regularly endorses and promotes Running in Schools, Institutes and various Organizations in different Cities in Maharashtra. From that quiet, petite, young girl she has blossomed into one Powerhouse Inspiring so many 😃.

MRR Race Ranking 1st December, 2017

The MRR Race Ranking as on 1st December, 2017 is out, which means the races in November are included in the list. And we have a new race leader i.e.

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is the new Race Leader.

IDBI Federal Life Insurance Spice Coast Marathon, Kochi enters the list at a super creditable no. 7 ranking while Aurangabad Heritage Half Marathon debuts at no. 9 in the list. Both Kochi and Aurangabad have performed admirably to come in the top 10. It helps that both have Runners as main organisers.

WNC Navy Half Marathon, Mumbai comes in at no. 15, IL&FS I Run for Fun, Mumbai at no. 22, Adidas Uprising 10K, Mumbai at no. 24, IIT Bombay Half Marathon at no. 36, Pune Running Beyond Myself Marathon at no. 39. WNC Navy Half scored well on all parameters but lost out on the timeliness aspect i.e. starting the race on time. They probably need to work on that aspect next time around. The ranking list is given here.

Lots of races lose points in the “During the Race” element. That is the absolute core for any race, the most key element in organising a good race vs an average race. Organisers need to pay attention to this factor the most – frequency of water/ energy drinks/ refreshments, medical facilities en route, km markers, traffic arrangements etc.

We have created another list this time, that of races which did not garner adequate responses, but we have done the rating for them, but not included in the ranking list. For races to enter into the ranking list, we need at least 10 responses, which itself is inadequate but since this is a first year, we thought of keeping a low threshold. This list is given here.

Here also from the limited responses, if you see, Jalna has done well and so has Surat and Gurgaon. The situation will obviously change if there are more responses. We hope that more and more runners take part in this rating exercise so that a good database could be built which will be helpful to the runners in future. This is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

A total of 68 races have been rated so far this year, which exercise started in February, 2017.

My first attempt at Trail Running – A DNF!!!

I was scheduled to visit France on a business trip from 11th to 13th Dec 2017. Being a Runner I got tempted to find some race in France which I can participate before or after my business commitments. I googled and found out that there were more than 4 races in different parts of France on 10th Dec 2017.

Unfortunately all the websites and facebook pages of the events were in French and difficult to undersand and register inspite of using Google Translate. Finally, I zeroed down on 4 events and managed to send a message through their FB pages. Only one organiser, Trail la conquete de Super Besse responded quickly and provided me the link to register with the translation in English. There were 3 categories; 5K, 15k AND 25k.Having done one 42 K, one 25K (BNP) and about six 21K, I opted for the 25K Run. Later on I realised that it was not a normal Road Run which I have been doing until now for the past 4 years but a Trail Run. HaviNg done Satara HM and BNP 25K (4 hills) I assumed it must be somewhat similar but a more gruelling course. I tried to get much information about the course and elevation from the organisers but could not succeed. Further scrutiny of their website and FB page did not help much. Having already registered I mustered courage and decided to participate any how.

The start point of Trail la conquete de Super Besse was in a Town called Besse and Finish Point at Super Besse, about 470 Kms from Paris. I reached Paris on 8th Dec evening and decided to rest for one night in Paris. I realised that the temperatures were in the range of 6 to 8 deg C in Paris. On 9th morning I started from Paris and reached Chambon Sur Lac (15 Kms from Besse) where I had booked my accommodation,in the evening. Here the weather was too cold with temperatures dipping to 2 deg C in the night. Chambon Sur Lac is a small village where no public transport is available, except taxis provided you book in advance. The organisers were kind enough to arrange to pick me up on 10th morning at 7:00 am from the hotel to go to the venue. To my shock, it was raining in the morning and the temperature was 4 deg. C. I collected my bib and put up a brave face. I understood that thee were about 800 registrations but due to bad weather only about 400 turned up. I noticed that most of the participants were wearing rain-proof jackets, skiing sticks and mountaineering footwear. I had my normal road running shoes and winter jacket with hood. With the help of the organisers I managed to get a trash polythene converted to a rain coat to protect myself from the rains.

The race started at 09:00 am sharp on normal tar road and I joined the crowd in the cold windy weather still determined to participate. After 500 m or so the route joined a muddy trail and the runners slowed down. After 1 km the route was full of snow and slippery. With caution I managed to walk through and avoided slipping, After 1.5 km I realised that I was the last runner and the girl and man behind me were Support Volunteers. The girl noticed that I was wearing normal road running shoes and asked me if I will continue till the end with these shoes. Still determined; I told her I shall continue and asked her if the route was similar throughout. She told me it will be tougher further. There were no KM markings but only ribbons. After about 2 kms of slippery snowy and muddy route with ups and downs I started feeling warm and wanted to remove my jacket and was feeling thirsty. Unfortunately I had carried none assuming there would be aid stations every 2.5 or 3 Kms like our road runs but there were none so far. I realised that the trail was slippery and my shoes were not meant for trail runs. After 40 mins or so I managed to cover only 3 Kms and the volunteer asked me if I would like to quit. I told her I would continue after taking a 3 to 5 minute break. But she said that it would take me a long time to complete the balance 22 Km. Though there was no cut-off time specified by the organisers I realised that the locals would complete the distance in maximum 4 hours or so. With the pace that I was going I realised that I would need anywhere between 4-1/2 to 5 hours. I continued for another 1 km without break. The wind was blowing at 40 km/h speed, it was raining continuously, the path was full of snow and the temperature was still 4 deg C. By now I had cramps in my legs, my jacket was wet, hands cold and backache. It was time to call quits now rather than continuing and probably breaking your bones or falling sick. I told the girl tha I would quit and she informed me that after 1 km we will reach the road and she will call for the support vehicle to take me back to the Finish Point. I managed to cover about 5 kms in the windy, snowy, rainy and cold weather.

My first attempt at Trail Runnng was a DNF but I am happy that I did not get a DNS. I had the courage to start even after seeing the weather conditions and without proper gear.

As the adage goes; You do not Lose, You either WIN or LEARN!

Every failure teaches you and makes you strong.

The learnings for me from this experience are:

  1. Do not assume that all races are similar.
  2. Find out more information about the course and weather conditions before you register.
  3. Ensure you have proper running gear suitable to the environment.
  4. Find out more details of the location and weather conditions.
  5. It is better to quit than take risk and endanger yourself, especially in a foreign country.
  6. Learn from your mistakes, take corrective actions and attempt again after good preparation.

Regards

Subhash Putty

10 Dec 2017

Camp: France

Survival at its fittest-The trail run experience

The Bay area was known for its bountiful trails and hills. There was no dearth of them as I browsed through the California marathon Calendar. The runner and nature lover in me was spoilt for choices as I looked at the images of some of the trail runs. I visualized myself running through the cascading brown meadows spread over acres which was enough incentive to click on the registration link.

It was a 25 km run that I had signed up for, probably due to realization that my legs were now ready to carry me further than 21 km which they were used to by now and probably bored. “Give us a little bit of challenge”, they seemed to say.  So here I was driving down to Calero Park at San Jose which was about 40 minutes from Stanford, where I resided. The race was scheduled at 8:00 am and the bib collection for these runs took place one hour prior to the run, on the same day. It was rather chilly and I huddled up in one of the tents after collecting my bib. I got talking to the race director, Troy who had been conducting trail events since 2009. “I am glad it’s not raining,” he said. “Otherwise I would have had to cancel it.” I further learnt it was more or less managed by him solely and he was looking for more volunteers.  As the runners began to line up at the venue, we were briefed about the course that we had to take.

There were only 2 aid stations and we were to follow the different colored ribbons and in some places, these would be absent. “Have faith in yourself and follow that one single road, it will get you through.” the race director mentioned. Nervousness began to creep in hoping that I wouldn’t get lost in these woods. There was no signal on my mobile phone and I offered a silent prayer to the almighty.

From the word go, dirt roads greeted us gently leading us to some never-ending inclines which forced even the strongest looking runners to walk up these dreadful slopes.  Muddy, rustic looking, interspersed with shrubs and grass, it was as pristine as it could get. I heard some of runners muttering “Didn’t know it was going to be so tough”, as they staggered up the hilly terrain. One couldn’t run on it for too long and walk breaks were involuntarily infused.  Deciding to treat it as a picnic, I prodded along the muddy pathway, wondering what I had gotten myself into.

I remembered mentioning to my husband that morning saying that I would finish in 3 hours and be back home by 12 noon. It appeared that this was going to take longer than 3 hours considering the daunting route which had pebbles strewn about like bread crumbs.  No sane person would want to consider sprinting downhill unless they were ready to see their knees look like fried sausages tossed in ketchup.

At the end of the 5th km, I was almost ready to call it quits, rush back home and snuggle on the couch with a book. Just then I was greeted by a spectacular sight of the mountains glistening in the sun’s rays. I inhaled sharply, taking in the view as the sportsman spirit in me egged me to go on. ‘You are not here to quit’, a voice told me.

 

I noticed dried tufts of grass on either side as I ran along the narrow winding pathways. I caught a glimpse of a couple of runners at the distance and knew I was on the right track.  Following the ribbons, I soon found myself running down some of the slopes albeit with great caution as I wasn’t too fond of sausages.  Reaching the aid station, I refilled my bottle with water, grabbed some freshly cut fruits and set off on this jungle expedition after taking cues from the race director present there.

The pebbles on the ground reminded me of the Hansel and Gretel story wherein Hansel left a trail of them to find his way back home from the woods. At one point, it was just me and the sound of gentle rustle of the leaves, making me jump many a time half expecting to see a bear or a fox come out of its hiding and smacking my head later on for giving in to irrational fears and fantasies.  Soon I heard voices floating in the air and looked up to see a couple of horse riders galloping into the woods after giving me a smile that depicted partly sympathy and partly admiration.

This run was one of its kind unlike the ones in the city where you would feel the presence of volunteers with placards carrying quirky messages. This one was a test of your endurance and patient levels. I finally reached the start point, completing 21 km and was asked to do the 5 km loop to complete my distance. Survival instincts kicked in and I finally reached the finish line. “You are still running, right?” asked one of the volunteers asked line with a grin and I responded with a faint smile.

I tucked in some nuts and sandwiches that was displayed on the table as I was famished being on my feet for hours together. Nature has a way of humbling you, I thought as I grabbed my phone only to see there was no reception yet. By now my husband must have wondered if I had been attacked by wolves or something. I requested one of the volunteers to drop me off at a point where I could call an Uber.

Trail runs were as brutal and carnal as they could get. It’s about how you hold your nerve throughout and come out stronger yet humbled at the thought that nature always triumphs.